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Diane Dimond: Rembrandts of the courtroom

Dimond-Diane-color.jpg OK, by a show of hands, how many readers have actually sat inside a courtroom and watched a trial? Having been assigned to cover countless high-profile trials over the years, I have to admit I relish it.

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Scott Rasmussen: Political language to blame for public distrust of government

Rasmussen-Scott.jpg In his weekly column for CNN.com, Julian Zelizer makes a reasonable case that "Distrustful Americans still live in age of Watergate." In his eyes, this helps explain why the president's health care law and other initiatives have encountered so much resistance.

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Mark Shields: The most reliable poll of all

Shields-c.jpg I dimly recall being rousted out of my bunk bed as a young child before sunrise on Oct. 27, 1948, so I could stand at an intersection in my hometown of Weymouth, Massachusetts, to catch a brief glimpse of President Harry Truman as he drove by on his way to a campaign event in the more populous Brockton some 10 miles away. I later learned there were no prominent Massachusetts Democrats traveling with Truman that day -- the candidates for governor and U.S. senator were otherwise committed -- because in just six days, as all the smart money knew, Truman was going to lose big-time to Republican Tom Dewey.

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Rachel Marsden: An effective disguise

Rachel-Marsden-c.jpg PARIS -- Billionaire Hungarian-American oligarch George Soros is an extremely concerned humanitarian who can be counted on to put his considerable bank balance where his concerns are. Lately, those concerns have included Ukraine and other former Soviet satellite states; Syria; immigration rights in America; the U.S. banking system; and the Great Lakes region of Africa, where all the mining opportunities just happen to be. Perhaps he could lay off the generosity long enough for us to recover from it all.

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Connie Schultz: Meet the new Cleveland

Connie-Schultz-c.jpg Greetings from Cleveland, the birthplace of Superman. You knew that, right?

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Froma Harrop: Where goes jazz as the greats move on?

FromaHarrop2013-c.jpg A jazz great died this month. Though revered by fans around the world, Horace Silver is not a household name in his own country, where the popular taste tends more toward rock and country than it does toward jazz. Silver's most widely recognizable tune, "Song for My Father," is recognizable mainly because the rock band Steely Dan used it in the opening riff of one of their biggest hits, "Rikki Don't Lose That Number."

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Michael Barone: Why government isn't working

Barone-c.jpg Government just doesn't work very well. That's the persuasive thesis of three important books published this year.

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Jonah Goldberg: The not so liberal Hollywood

jonah-goldberg.jpg In the film "Obvious Child," Jenny Slate plays Donna Stern, a stand-up comedian who specializes in making jokes about her private parts, with the occasional foray into fart humor. She is about to go onstage. Her friend offers her some encouragement: "You are going to kill it out there!"

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Leonard Pitts Jr.: Louis Zamperini was more than a hero

leonard-pitts.jpg Just two pages into the book "Unbroken," its protagonist is in the water, hiding beneath the deteriorating life raft in which he has been drifting across the Pacific Ocean for almost a month. Overhead, Japanese bombers are circling back to strafe him a second time. And sharks are approaching from below.

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Mona Charen: When government tries to be nice

charen-c.jpg Could the flood of underage, would-be immigrants over the southern border be "Obama's Katrina" as Susan Page of USA Today warned? No, it's worse. Even the most virulent George W. Bush denigrator would not suggest that the former president actually created the hurricane. This president, by contrast, bears a heavy responsibility for creating the deluge of unaccompanied minors who have recently crashed ashore.

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